Options If You're Hit by an Uninsured Driver
You hadn't planned on being in a wreck, but you had a plan just in case it ever happened — that's why you bought car insurance. Now, that fateful day has come, and the driver who rear-ended you doesn't have a plan (or car insurance). You've been hit by an uninsured driver. Learn what happens if you're hit by an uninsured driver, and what your options are in the state where you live.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

If you're in a car accident and the driver who hit you doesn't have insurance, look at your policy. Many states require uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage, but many also allow you to reject it when buying your plan. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps protect you from at-fault drivers whose policy (or lack thereof) can't cover the costs of the accident. Without uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you'll probably have to pay for accident-related car repairs and medical bills yourself — even if the accident wasn't your fault! That's the last thing you need when you're nursing a mild case of whiplash.

Uninsured Motorist Info by State

Find your state in the list below to learn more about what to do if you're hit by an uninsured motorist. Check out the Insurance Information Institute for more uninsured driver statistics.

Alabama

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers:4%
  • Coverage requirement: The minimum requirements for being legally insured in Alabama include property damage liability, bodily injury liability, and $25,000 in UM/UIM coverage. However, the law only requires that insurance companies offer UM/UIM coverage to drivers. Drivers can reject UM/UIM coverage in Alabama. It doesn't require that drivers accept the coverage.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: If you're hit by an uninsured driver in Alabama and you have UM/UIM coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: Driving without insurance in Alabama could lead to fines, fees, driver's license suspension, vehicle registration suspension, and vehicle impoundment.

Arkansas

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 6%
  • Coverage requirement: Liability insurance is mandatory, but UM/UIM coverage is optional in Arkansas and Arkansas auto insurers must offer it. Drivers can reject UM/UIM coverage.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: You can lean on your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you're hit by an uninsured driver in Arkansas—if you have it. Otherwise, you may consider going after the at-fault driver in court.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: The consequences of driving without insurance in Arkansas can include mandatory fines ranging from $50 to $1,000, depending on whether it's your first, second, or third offense. For a third or subsequent offense, you could face jail time.

Florida

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers:7% (the highest rate in the U.S.)
  • Coverage requirement: Florida insurance law requires motorists to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This compensates the insured driver and members of their household for certain accident-related damages, no matter who caused the crash. Florida motorists also must purchase property damage liability insurance. However, bodily injury liability insurance is optional. But if you decide to get that coverage, uninsured motorist coverage must be provided, unless you reject it.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: As long as you have coverage for uninsured motorists, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Otherwise, you might try and recover your losses in court.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: Get caught driving without insurance in Florida and you could be hit with a $150 fine for a first-time offense, plus have your driver’s license and auto registration suspended.

Georgia

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 12%
  • Coverage requirement: Insurance laws in Georgia require that drivers carry bodily injury liability and physical damage liability insurance. Also, insurers must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers can reject UM/UIM coverage in Georgia.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: If you decide to keep your insurance's uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim when you're hit by an uninsured driver in Georgia. Don't have this coverage? In that case, suing the other driver may be your only other option.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: Drive without insurance in the Peach State and you could face misdemeanor charges and fines up to $1,000. Loss of driving privileges and jail time are also possible penalties, depending on the severity and frequency of the offense.

Mississippi

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 7%
  • Coverage requirement: Drivers in Mississippi must carry a minimum amount of bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. Mississippi insurance companies must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers can reject UM/UIM coverage in Mississippi.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: If you declined uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you might have to go to court to seek compensation for your losses.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: You might face misdemeanor charges, a $500 fine, and loss of driving privileges for up to a year if you drive without insurance in Mississippi.

North Carolina

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers:5%
  • Coverage requirement: All North Carolina drivers must carry bodily injury liability, physical damage liability insurance, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: You're required to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in North Carolina, which is good news if you're hit by an uninsured driver in the Tar Heel State. File a claim with your NC auto insurance company. If your policy doesn't cover the entirety of the damages, you may be able to sue the uninsured driver for the difference.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: For first time offenders, driving without insurance in North Carolina could result in a $150 fine with a $50 fee. Repeat violators may receive a registration suspension or jail time.

Ohio

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 4%
  • Coverage requirement: It's illegal to drive without insurance or proof of financial responsibility (FR) in Ohio. Proof of FR is an official BMV form certifying that the driver can cover damages in the event of an accident. If a motorist doesn't meet the requirements for FR, he or she must carry bodily injury and physical damage liability insurance. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is optional in Ohio.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: If you're hit by an uninsured driver in Ohio and you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your Ohio insurance company. If you don't have that coverage, you'll have to pay for accident-related expenses yourself or try suing the uninsured driver.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: Not having insurance or proof of financial responsibility in Ohio may result in fines, vehicle impoundment, and license and registration suspension, which can cost up to $650 to reinstate.

South Carolina

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers:4%
  • Coverage requirement: South Carolina drivers must purchase bodily injury liability, physical damage liability, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: It's time to file a claim with your insurance company if you're hit by an uninsured motorist in South Carolina. If the coverage isn't sufficient to pay for all of your losses, then you may sue the other driver for compensatory damages.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: South Carolina is tough on drivers who don't have insurance. Someone stopped for driving without insurance can be ticketed and might be arrested. Penalties can include a fine up to $200 as well as suspension of your driver's license, license plate, and vehicle registration — which costs $550 to reinstate.

Tennessee

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 20%
  • Coverage requirement: Tennessee motorists have two options to drive legally. They can demonstrate proof of financial responsibility before the state's Department of Revenue, or they can purchase bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage isn't required, but it's included in every TN insurance policy unless declined by the driver.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can pay for at least some of your losses if you're hit by an uninsured driver in the Volunteer State. However, if you declined the coverage, you might have to sue the uninsured driver.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: Tennessee law enforcement can tow drivers on the spot for driving without insurance. Fines and loss of driving privileges are other potential penalties.

Texas

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers:1%
  • Coverage requirement: Texas motorists must carry bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can be declined, but TX insurance companies are required to offer it.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: File a claim with your insurance company if you're hit by an uninsured driver in Texas and you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you rejected this coverage, consider the pros and cons (and costs) of taking the other driver to court.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: In Texas, first-time offenders could face fines and increased annual driver's license fees. A repeat offender may have their license suspended and their car impounded.

Virginia

  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 9%
  • Coverage requirement: Virginia insurance law requires that you have liability insurance on all of your registered vehicles, even if the vehicle isn't working or being used. Drivers without insurance have to pay an "uninsured motor vehicle" fee at their local DMV. This fee is an acknowledgment that uninsured drivers are responsible for covering all accident-related costs. If you'd rather pay for insurance than give more money to the government, you must carry BIL, PDL, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • After a wreck with an uninsured driver: If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and you're in an accident with an uninsured motorist in Virginia, contact your insurer to file a claim. If not, suing the uninsured driver may be your only recourse.
  • Punishment for driving without insurance: Drive without insurance in Virginia and without paying the "uninsured motor vehicle" fee and you could face a class 3 misdemeanor and be required to pay fines of up to $500 (among other penalties). You might also lose your driver's license, vehicle registration, and license plates.
Still confused about what happens if you're hit by an uninsured driver in your state? Our friendly agents are ready to answer your insurance questions. Call, click, or come into your nearest Direct Auto today to get more info on uninsured motorist coverage and your state's driving laws. Source of statistics for all states https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists
Options If You’re Hit by an Uninsured Driver